Portuguese American Journal

Prime Minister Passos Coelho to visit Angola

Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho will pay a one-day visit to Angola, November 17, Lusa news reported.

Passos Coelho will meet the Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos, the speaker of the Luanda parliament, Paulo Cassoma, as well as Portuguese and Angolan business representatives.

Significant bilateral investments and the possible participation of Angola in Portugal’s ongoing privatization program top Coelho’s agenda, officials said.

Passos Coelho said he would discuss the agenda of a Lisbon-Luanda summit planned for next year with dos Santos.

In a new development, Angolan financial authorities have stated recently that they intend to nationalize Angola banks controlled by Portuguese banking groups, over concerns that the Portuguese government may interfere in the management of Portuguese banking groups that require public funding.

Last Friday, Angola took over on the rotating presidency of the Interior Ministers of the Portuguese Speaking Countries Community (CPLP), replacing Portugal.

The term of Angola as chair of CPLP will last one year. After one-year term, Angola will be replaced by Mozambique that will chair the forum for two years. CPLP groups Angola and Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Sao Tome and Principe, Brazil, Portugal and East Timor.

The country, which accounts for 26 percent of total Portuguese exports, is the top export destination for Portuguese wine, with estimated sales of 55.1 million-euro in 2010. Angola is Africa’s second biggest oil producer and one of the largest foreign investors in Portugal.

Angola (population 19 million) has also become a destination for young Portuguese professionals seeking employment. With a booming economy, the former Portuguese colony is now home to an estimated 100,000 Portuguese citizens.

The Portuguese Prime Minister lived in Angola as a child where his father practiced medicine. He always intended to visit the country as early as possible during his term of office, an official source said. Passos Coelho returns to Lisbon Friday.

paj.cm

updated 11/17/2011